-By Marie Diamond
June 27, 2011- Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a budget that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood, after pushing the measure through the state Legislature without a single Democratic vote. Planned Parenthood denounced the decision to choke off state and federal funding to nine health centers in small communities that will deny preventative health care to 12,000 women who don’t have health insurance:
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin says it has 27 health centers across the state, which provide birth control, cancer screenings, annual exams, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment to 73,000 patients every year.
Wisconsin is the fourth state to target Planned Parenthood because of conservative-led objections to the group’s abortion services — even though they are funded separately and make up a small fraction of the services Planned Parenthood provides.
Planned Parenthood points out that the budget also threatens Wisconsin’s BadgerCare family planning program, “which currently helps more than 53,000 women and men get preventive health care at providers throughout the state.” Scott’s budget disqualifies men entirely from the program, leaving the 7,000 low-income Wisconsin men who use BadgerCare without access to health care and testing that saves lives. The budget also severely restricts eligibility and requires parental consent for all patients under 18 years old.